If you’re still on Facebook, read this

Facebook is under intense pressure to answer questions about the safety of the data its users post after it admitted that a company linked to President Donald Trump’s campaign had accessed and improperly stored a huge trove of user data.

What happened?

Facebook said it gave permission to a University of Cambridge professor to gather information from users who downloaded his personality test app.

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But users who downloaded the app also gave the professor the OK to collect data on their locations, friends and content they had “liked.”


That was allowed under Facebook rules at the time. The professor then provided that data — which included information from more than 50 million profiles — to Cambridge Analytica, a firm working to develop techniques that could be used to influence voters.

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Why does this matter?

Facebook hasn’t shaken off questions about the 2016 presidential election.

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Although CEO Mark Zuckerberg initially was skeptical that Facebook could have been used to influence voters, the company now has sought to crack down on “fake news,” undermine the business model used by trolls and make political advertising more transparent.

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What happens next?

Lawmakers have called on Zuckerberg to explain his company’s actions. The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office is trying to obtain a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica’s offices.

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The revelations are likely to fuel calls for more regulation of tech companies.

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Zuckerberg apologized for the data debacle that has upended Facebook and opened the door to testifying before Congress.